In the spirit of Open Development, this post will discuss the status of the design choices (code related mostly) that have been made in regards to the official website/community, and a brief how to for anybody else looking to make a quality community site for cheap.
Here is an article that takes you through the whole process (once you have a hosting solution, that is)
you can find out more about the system works by going to testbp.org (A Buddypress testing site where you can see how the system functions for individual members of your own community site).
(I tried it over at http://ummo.comxa.com). The new default theme is default enough for me to leave up for a while while I fill it with content (and worry about design a little later)
The new theme for the game site itself will most likely be “Piano Black” by a group called mono-tone (out of japan).
Theming for Buddypress just got a lot easier, now sharing the “child theme” concept with WordPress. Andy Peatling wrote a great article about it here
I also considered using Joomla again, with the Community Builder plugin. I like the look of the Jomsocial plugin but its not free. In the end, I am confident that adding all the cool features found in various Joomla plugins should be easy to convert over to WPMU/Buddypress and I LIKE the idea of having access to tons of cool themes and allowing the site members to each have their own themed site.
When I consider that most races and class types in the game, as well as specific cities, regions, and in game organizatiosn will each have their own “site”.. that’s something serious to consider.
In fact, I believe that will be how I focus that ability of Buddypress, allowing various subsites for those various in game elements. The idea is to blend the net reality of the game world and the real world.
Sort of like.. if The Kingdom of Stormwind (or Undercity) were the managers of the wow.com website. Well I suppose you will get what I mean when it’s up to look at.